Thursday, May 06, 2021

Chosen, Called and Anointed by Jesus to bear rich fruit.

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you." (John 15: 16).

Friday 7th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter is also First Friday in May. To read the First Friday promise for May 2021, click below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2021/05/5-7.html?m=1

In our key Scripture for today, we reflect on the Call, the Choice and the Anointing we have from God our Father. When God wanted to start His family, He called Abraham. Through faith and obedience, Abraham became fruitful. Other examples of people in the Bible that God chose, called and anointed are:
Moses, Joseph the Prince of Egypt, David, John the Baptist and Paul the Apostle.  All of them responded to God with faith and obedience and became fruitful. 

Today Jesus reminds us of His Call on us: "To go and bear fruit that will remain." We know that the only fruits that remain and abide are fruits produced by the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Jesus is looking for a generous response:

"I will be a witness to You in the world O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of Your name among my brothers, Alleluia! " (Psalm 18:50;  22 :23 RM)

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this First Friday.

First Friday, May 7, 2021.

Jesus promised 12 special graces and favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 5th month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #5.

#5.  "I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings." I like this one very much.

We celebrated the feast of St Joseph the Worker on May 1st. St Joseph is the patron saint of men and women who earn their livelihood from any kind of work.  St Joseph will intercede for workers for success and prosperity in all their understandings. Don't hesitate to ask for his help and do it often.

Sacred Heart of Jesus come to our help and prosper the work of our hands.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass or virtual Mass this Friday.

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/08/12-promises-of-sacred-heart-of-jesus.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Be steadfast in believing in My love for you.


"Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love." (John 15: 9 - 10).

Thursday 6th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter.

A Bible translation renders our key Scripture thus:
“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts." (John 15: 9 TPT).

In John 15: 10, we see the condition for remaining in the love of Christ:
" keep my commands." Love and obedience go together. You cannot love God and disobey Him constantly. Jesus gives us His supreme example: "I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love."

It is impossible for anyone to understand how much Jesus loves him until he commits to obeying Jesus and embracing His love in little and big things in their daily lives. He comes to understand with awe that "T'is not from chance our comfort springs O Lord. They are from Your gracious ordaining O Lord our God."

You can confirm from your daily experience this truth:
"What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us." (2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 4 TLB).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

7-Daily Habits for bearing abundant fruit.

"I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing." (John 15: 5).

Wednesday 5th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter.

The three things St Augustine urged Christians to study every day so that they may abide in Christ and produce rich harvest are:
#1. Commandments.
#2. Examples.
#3. Sacraments.

Examples or biographies or lives of the Saints are important because examples are the best teachers. In our key Scripture for today Jesus says that if you want to bear much fruit in the Christian life, you must abide in Him. Without Him, you can do nothing. Not a little. But nothing.  Here are 5 saints who embraced this teaching of Jesus and bore abundant fruit. All these saints are still bearing fruit today through their religious families.

#1. St Francis of Assisi.
#2. St Dominic.
#3. Mother St Teresa of Kolkata.
#4. St. Ignatius Loyola.
#5. Mother Angelica of EWTN.

What are the 7 Daily Habits of these  saints.

#1. Prayer.
#2. Word of God.
#3. Eucharist.
#4. Penance: About weekly.
#5. Examination of Conscience.
#6. Spiritual Reading.
#7. Ministry (Faith sharing).

Their lives shone with the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity.

You too can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Cf Philippians 4: 13).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Monday, May 03, 2021

How I overcame demonic fear through the Peace of Christ.

"Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you." (John 1 4: 27).

Tuesday 4th May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter.

The Gospel for today is a practical solution to the problem of fear, worry and doubt. Jesus gave this comforting message the night before His death. He was leaving His disciples a farewell Gift. Not a huge bank account or a sprawling real estate in the city center. But PEACE!

Jesus calls this Gift "My Peace." This is true because Scripture calls Jesus "our Peace." He is also the Prince of Peace. We are talking here about perfect peace. First let us see what the Peace of Christ is not. It is not Pax Romana, the peace imposed on a conquered nation by force by the conqueror. It is not the peace of a welfare state. It is not the peace you feel if you are in good health, the kids are behaving and your 401K is fantastic.

The peace that Jesus bequeaths to Christians is His own peace. Peace in the midst of crisis because you know who your Security is. The world does not know this peace and cannot know it until they bend their knees to Jesus. This peace is supreme remedy for fears, worries and doubts.

Once upon a time, I believed that the key to peace is financial stability and to have a perfect credit score in the 800 range. And I had this for a number of years. Suddenly without warning, my business became shaky and I did all I could to meet my obligations to my creditors in order to maintain my credit score. At this point, I moved to a new residence and my landlord was not happy with me. He reported me to the credit reporting agency who promptly reported it to one of my banks. A letter to me from the bank followed. The bank jacked up my interest rates.

I took the letter to Jesus in my Prayer Place and spread the letter before the Lord. I asked for one favor: I asked for peace so that I could sleep that night. Jesus gave it to me. I slept like a baby. The following afternoon, I called the Credit Agency. They reversed the decision. I called the bank and they restored my privileges.

The Peace of Christ is real. It is for us Christians. Claim it. It banishes fear.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Do you believe God's promises on Prayer?

"And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it." (John 14: 13 - 14).

Monday 3rd May 2021, in the 5th Week of Easter is the feast of the Apostles Philip and James. Philip and James were among the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Philip introduced Bartholomew (Nathanael) to Jesus. According to tradition, he was crucified in Phrygia.
St James was the cousin of Jesus. He was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. He was thrown down from the terrace of the Temple and then stoned to death.

In our key Scripture for today, Jesus repeats for emphasis: "Ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."  Why the emphasis? According to Catholic tradition, most writers on the subject of Prayer would answer simply: Because Jesus means every word of His promises on Prayer. How about the man in the pew, how does he view the promises of Jesus on Prayer? A lot of scepticism.  Scepticism that is born of ignorance. They know neither the Scriptures or the power of God. (Cf Matthew 22: 29).
"God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23: 19).

How about me, the writer? Do I believe in the promises of Jesus on Prayer? Absolutely! I would not have answered with such certainty a decade ago. Investment in the study of Sacred Scripture and the writings of the saints on Prayer made the difference. There are two rich resources on Prayer by St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church and St Claude de la Colombiere under the titles of UNIFORMITY WITH GOD'S WILL and TRUSTFUL SURRENDER TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE respectively. These two works are pamphlets that you can read several times in a day. Both will change your mind on Prayer.

How can we test Jesus' faithfulness to His promises on Prayer if we do not pray? My friend, there is only one way to prove this truth: JUST PRAY!

"This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us." (1 John 5: 4 AMP).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 01, 2021

My Father is the Gardener.


"Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit." (John 15: 1 - 2).

Sunday 2nd May 2021, in the 5th Week in Easter.

The AMPC translation below seems to throw more light on the verses.
"Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit." (John 15: 1 - 2).

Note the following conditions:
#1. Disciples of Jesus may bear fruits at one time and then stop bearing fruits.
#2. The Divine Gardener "cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit."
#3 "Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing."

Do you desire to produce abundant fruits for Jesus? The conditions are above. Identify the dead branches in your life and ask Jesus constantly to prune them. The pruning could be painful but the fruits are sweet and lasting.

What are the fruits of the pruned vines? They are the fruits the Holy Spirit produces daily in our lives: Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity.

Now you can ask for anything and Jesus promises: "Ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples." (John 15: 7 - 8).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Friday, April 30, 2021

Feast of St Joseph the Worker, Patron Saint of Workers.

"Is he not the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13: 55).

Saturday 1st May 2021 in the 4th Week of Easter. Today is May Day, the feast of St Joseph the Worker.
This Saturday is also the first Saturday in May. May and October are the months we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. We are celebrating the feasts of St Joseph and St Mary together.

The Church teaches that God laid down for human beings the law of work. Jesus Christ, a man in all things but sin was not exempt from the law of work. He followed the profession of His foster father Joseph the Carpenter. After Joseph died, Jesus became a self employed business man running the family carpentry shop until he was 30 years when he left Nazareth to start His ministry.

The feast of St Joseph the Worker "reminds us that honest work, no matter how seemingly menial, can be sanctified. Through work we can sanctify ourselves and others, making each of us participants in the work of redemption." (Roman Missal).

May the Lord prosper the work of our hands.

St Joseph the Worker, Pray for us.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Feast of Pope St Pius V, great Reformer.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me." (John 14: 1).

Friday 30th April 2021, in the 4th Week of Easter is the feast of Pope St Pius V. (1504 - 1572). Italian. Dominican Friar. Pius had tremendous impact in the post Tridentine Church of the 16th century. Some of his accomplishments are: implementing forcefully the decrees of the Council of Trent, building seminaries, publishing the Roman Catechism and revising the Missal and the Breviary. 

On the night before His passion, Jesus was huddled together with His 12 Apostles in the Upper Room. He had revealed to them His departure from them through death. They were crushed. How on earth could they survive without Him with enemies everywhere? Then the Master said to them: Don’t be afraid or cowardly. As you believe in God and trust Him to protect and provide for you, you must believe in Me likewise. 

What would be the impact of these words on the extremely agitated disciples? Comfort! Such is the power of the word of God. The same Jesus is speaking to us today through the Scripture:

“You must not let yourselves be distressed—you must hold on to your faith in God and to your faith in me." (John 14:1 Philips). 
How can you avoid worry and surrendering yourself to fear and doubt? Saturate your mind and heart with the creative words of Jesus. One thing I have found helpful is to keep repeating:
No fear. No worry. No doubt. Jesus is my Security now and always. 

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Feast of St Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church.

"Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children." (Matthew 11: 25).

Thursday April 29th 2020, 4th Week in the Easter Season is the feast of a giant of the faith: St Catherine of Siena (1347 - 1380). Italian Dominican Tertiary. Virgin and Doctor of the Church.

Catherine died at the age of 33 and accomplished for the Kingdom of God what most of us could never accomplish even if we live to be 190 years. 

She brought about the renewal of the Church in a period of moral laxity. She was instrumental in reuniting the Church during the great Western Schism. She authored a spiritual classic, THE DIALOGUE. Catherine is the first woman to be named Doctor of the Church. She is the patron saint of plagues and Italy. Co-Patron saint of Europe with St Benedict.

We skip the Gospel of today and use the Gospel of the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena to draw the fullest inspiration from the special Mass to honor St Catherine:
"Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children." (Matthew 11: 25).

11 Quotes to nourish our faith from St Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church:

1. "What heart is so hard and stubborn that it would not melt contemplating the affectionate love divine goodness bears for it? Love, then, love!"

2. “Love follows knowledge.”
3. “The human heart is drawn by love.”

4. "Adam’s foolish children may well be ashamed. For is there any greater sight than to see God stooped down to humanity—as if humanity were in control of God rather than God having control over humanity? For humanity is nothing of itself; what we have, we have from God by grace, not because he owes it to us."

5. “God is more willing to pardon than we have been to sin.”.
6. “What father ever gave up his son to death for the sake of his slave!”.
7. “God was made man and man was made God.”.

8. "This is why the saints say that God’s servants are the ones who are free sovereigns; they have won the victory. There are many who have been victorious over a city or a fortress, but if they have failed to conquer themselves and their enemies—the world, the flesh, and the devil—one could say they have nothing at all…."

9. “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ...
10. “Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.” ...
11. “All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, "I am the way.” ...

Let us finally note that St Catherine of Siena had no formal education, no PhD, no Doctorate. 

"Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children." (Matthew 11: 25).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Light of Christ in our world.

"I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness." (John 12: 46).

Wednesday 28th April 2021, in the 4th Week of Easter is the feast of two French saints:

#1. Louis de Monfort. (1673 - 1716). Priest.Among Monfort's books which are still in print are: TRUE DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN; SECRET OF THE Rosary. Louis de Monfort made the Rosary one of the most popular Catholic devotions throughout the world.

#2.  St Peter Chanel (1803 - 1841). Priest and Martyr. St Peter Chanel died a martyr in the island of Futuna in the Oceania.

In our key Scripture for today, Jesus says that He came into the world as light. What does Jesus mean? The Easter Vigil Service starts at sunset outside the Church. The congregation is positioned around a huge fire of burning wood. After prayers, the Deacon lights the heavy Pascal Candle and leads the parishioners into the dark Church. The only light comes from the Pascal Candle. The Pascal Candle signifies Christ as the Light coming into a dark world. The gathered Church lights their candles from the Pascal Candle and their neighbors in the pew light from them. Soon the whole Sanctuary is lit from hundreds of candles.

Only those who believe in Jesus Christ find meaning from the Easter Vigil ceremony. Without faith, the whole ceremony may appear strange to unbelievers. Those who believe and trust Jesus are no longer in the dark with regard to the critical and existential questions of life: origin of life and the world, life and death, poverty and wealth, divine providence, racial diversity, eternal life, etc.
The light of Christ brought us knowledge of the Trinity, the Three Persons in One God. The meaning of the life and death of Jesus.
The carnal man with his 20/20 vision and all the scientific knowledge at his disposal does not understand 0.001% of the physical world and nothing at all of the spiritual domain.

"I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life." (Cf John 8: 12).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Monday, April 26, 2021

Look at My works. They show who I AM.

"The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me." (John 10: 25).

Tuesday 27th April 2021, in the 4th Week of Easter.

In the Gospel of today, Jesus was in the Temple during the feast of the Dedication. The people accosted Him and challenged Him to tell them if He is the expected Messiah.
Jesus answered with our key Scripture verse for today:
"The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me." What does Jesus mean? His miracles: healing, casting out demons, raising the dead, feeding multitudes are evidence of who He is. These "works" should be sufficient proof to anyone who is well disposed towards Him. His sheep who are well disposed towards Him, hear His teachings and see His miracles and they believe in Him. This group do not waste time seeking for proof after proof about what should be obvious to men of good will. If you consider you are one of the sheep of Jesus, do you believe in these revealed truth about Jesus Christ below:

"I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead."
This is our Faith. The Faith of Christians who are the sheep of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus is your good Shepherd, He promises that His sheep will be fully provided for and fully protected from all dangers. Learn to trust in Jesus for all your needs.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 25, 2021

What is the Abundant life Jesus promises us?

"A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10).

Monday 26th April 2021, in the 4th Week of Easter.

John 10: 10, our Scripture verse for today:  "I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly," is one of the most quoted verses in the entire Bible. Why? It has the ring of a marketing slogan. Who is not attracted to Abundant Life? Abundant wealth, abundant health, abundant peace in the family, abundant quality food, abundant possessions and so forth. This is not what Jesus was thinking at all. I browsed on a number of English translations of this verse, I found that the Messengers' rendition is the closest to the mind of Christ:

"I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of."  (John 10: 10 MSG).

In Acts 1, Jesus talked again about the "Promise of the Father" that will soon be bestowed on the Apostles. That Promise of the Father is also called the "Big Gift" of the Father. You know by now that we are talking about the Awesome Holy Spirit, "the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son." He is worshipped together with the Father and the Son. He is the Giver of the Abundant life. What is this Abundant life? You remember what the Angel Gabriel said to Mary? She is "full of grace" and "the Lord is with her." Yes, Mary has abundant life. She is full of the Gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.

When you fan into flame the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit you received in Baptism and strengthened in the Sacrament of Confirmation, your life will be utterly transformed. Imagine if you exercise the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel and knowledge, you will be sought after by the whole world.  St Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, who is richly endowed by the Holy Spirit says that eternal life starts here and now and continues all the way to eternity. If you do not enjoy the love, peace, joy and contentment that come from the Holy Spirit indwelling in you, what is wrong? Two things possibly:
#1. Unconfessed sins.
#2. Unbelief.

Let us pray:
"O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord." Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 24, 2021

I Jesus am your only Good Shepherd.

"I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me,  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep."  (John 10: 14 - 15).

Sunday 25th April 2021, in the 4th Week in Easter.

Jesus declares in the Gospel today that He alone is our Good Shepherd. He recognizes us His sheep and we recognize Him as our only Good Shepherd. Our experience has thought us that there are false shepherds. As it is said, they just want your votes. Once they get it, they bid you bye-bye. Not so our Good Shepherd. He is the Lamb who is also a Shepherd.

What does a Good Shepherd do?
He feeds His flock and leads them to rest when they are tired. He rescues us from vicious beasts, from hurricanes and flood.

Now that we know how tenderly our Good Shepherd knows, loves and cares for us ("Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father"), how do we respond to this revelation? A good example to cite here is St Mary Magdalene.

Mary has a heart that returns love for love. She never forgets a favor done to her. Jesus and His disciples received no salary, stipends or gifts for their ministry. How did they survive? Mary of Magdala headed a group of women who supplied the needs of Jesus and the disciples from their resources.
Mary Magdalene stood with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostle John under the Cross and witnessed the agony of the Crucified from the very beginning to the end. Love never forgets a kindness.

Let us remember that our Good Shepherd loves us with a human heart made of flesh and blood. He is thirsting for love like every human being. This is the whole message and meaning of the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Friday, April 23, 2021

To abandon Me and My Way is a Disaster.

"Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6: 67 - 69).

Saturday 24th April 2021, in the 3rd Week in Easter is the feast of St Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577 - 1622), Priest and Martyr. Born in Germany, he achieved fame as Evangelist and Catechist in Switzerland where he was martyred for the faith.

The multitude that followed Jesus, many of them for the hope of eating free bread and fish were highly scandalized when Jesus spoke about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. They protested but Jesus did not apologize but instead doubled down on the same idea. They abandoned Jesus and His ministry on the spot and went home preferring to forget the time they invested in Jesus as a worthless sacrifice.

"Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Those who did not abandon Jesus over His teachings on the Bread of life must know and believe that without Jesus, we can do absolutely nothing. Not a little. But nothing. I like the way Jesus put this in His locution to a Benedictine monk:

"Outside of Me there is nothing for you, and with Me, in My presence, is all that your heart desires.  Do not look outside of Me for anything to fulfil your heart’s desires. Instead, hide yourself in Me, as I hide myself for love of you in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar." (IN SINU JESU, Tuesday, September 20, 2011).

Do you nurse some hope that this world will fulfill the desires of your heart with regard to health, family, job, money and social and material possessions? Forget it.

Repeat with Peter in deep faith: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 22, 2021

The source and summit of all the blessings of the Church is found in the Eucharist.

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." (John 6: 56).

Friday April 23rd 2021, 3rd Week in the Easter Season is also the feast of St George and St Adalbert of Praque (+303; 956 - 997). George, the Dragon slayer was martyred under Emperor Diocletian. So popular was his legend that George is the patron saint of England, Portugal, Germany, etc.
St Adalbert of Prague, Bishop, was martyred for protecting a woman who ran into the Sanctuary to seek protection from her accusers who  wanted her dead.

We continue with the Bread of life Discourse in the 6th Chapter of the Gospel of St John where eating and drinking the Body and Blood of Jesus is the dominant theme of this Easter Season so far.

It has been said that the best interpretation of the Gospel is the Example of the saints who are faithful and true witnesses to Jesus and His Way. Let us read below how some of the saints bore witness to the truth of the Bread of life Discourse.

"Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that Adoration." (Mother St Teresa of Kolkata).

"From the Eucharist comes strength to live the Christian life and zeal to share that life with others."  (Pope St John Paul II).

"Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven." (Pope St Pius X).

"There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us." (St John Vianney).

"The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch." (CCC 1324).

My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink says the Lord.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

I AM the Bread of life.

"I am the bread of life." (John 6: 48).

Thursday 22nd April, in the 3rd Week of Easter.

What does Jesus mean that He is the bread of life?
Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man will give us Himself as our Bread. Not just bread but Bread of life. What does the Church teach about the Bread of life?

"It [Eucharist] refers directly to the Bread of Life, the Body of Christ, the "medicine of immortality," without which we have no life within us......The Eucharist is our daily bread. The power belonging to this divine food makes it a bond of union. Its effect is then understood as unity, so that, gathered into his Body and made members of him, we may become what we receive.  This also is our daily bread." (CCC 2837)

In the Eucharist, we receive who we are, the Body of Christ. Now we must become what we receive, the Body of Christ, St Augustine teaches.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Monday, April 19, 2021

Jesus promises to help us deal with all the stuff that we don't need.

"So they said to Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6: 34 - 35).

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, in the 3rd Week of Easter.

Today's Gospel is part of the famous John Chapter 6 Bread of life proclamation. Jesus declared here: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." For 1500 years until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, the Church has always believed these words of Jesus to be true and to be taken literally. They are not metaphors.
Go to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and you will never hunger and thirst for material perishable stuff.

What infatuate the citizens of the world? Prestigious jobs, expensive cars, big homes with big TVs, overflowing and expensive wardrobes, etc. How do we get and enjoy this promise of Christ? Paul teaches us:

"Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes." (Romans 12: 2  TPT).

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Do not spend your money on what will not last.

"Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” (John 6: 27)

Monday 19th April 2021, in the 3rd Week of Easter.

Many of John Chapter 6 followers of Jesus care much for food, money, job, health, possessions and their future. They cared very little for the agenda of Jesus. Jesus had told them: "Man does not live on bread alone. There is life for him in every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4: 4). We can expand the teaching of Jesus on this: Man does not live on money, job, health, etc alone. Every word of God can nourish man and lead him to fulfillment.

Jesus expands on this teaching in our key Scripture for today. He teaches the bread loving crowd:
"Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” (John 6: 27).

What are the food that endures for eternal life? Consider faith, hope, charity and the Word of God. If I could purchase faith, hope or love with money, I will spend my entire stimulus check on faith, hope or charity. None of them will perish. A 75 inches super big screen television set will become obsolete in less than 7 years.

The interlocutors of Jesus impressed by His response asked Him:   “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”

Jesus gave them an uncomplicated answer: Faith in Jesus who God sent for the salvation of humanity. Faith is greater than gold and silver. Faith is imperishable.

O God, give us faith. Increase our faith. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Why are you full of doubt and fear?

"Then Jesus said to them [Apostles], “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts?" (Luke 24: 38).

Sunday 18th April 2021, in the 3rd Week of Easter.

Do you suffer from fear, worry and doubt? Every human being does. Psalm 56 says: "When I fear, I will trust in God. In God whose word I praise. In God whose word I trust. In God I put all my trust fearing nothing. What can mortal man do to me?" (Psalm 56: 3 - 4, 10 - 11, 13).

My friend, the cure for fear, worry and doubt is in Psalm 56. For many years, I used this maxim to combat fear, worry and doubt:  When I feel afraid, I shout: No fear. No worry. No doubt. It worked for me. In Easter Season 2021, I have updated my response to the three killer spiritual monsters with an acronym: TOS: TRUST. OBEDIENCE. SURRENDER.

Ask Jesus to give you your response to fear, worry and doubt.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Friday, April 16, 2021

This is Jesus. Do not be afraid.

"But Jesus said to them [Apostles], “It is I. Do not be afraid.” (John 6: 20).

Saturday 17th April 2021, in the 2nd Week of Easter.

Jesus said to the Apostles who panicked on seeing Him walking on the sea towards their boat: “It is I. Do not be afraid.” Jesus puts them at ease by identifying Himself: "It is I." This expression could mean "I AM." His word, the self identification of Yahweh was enough to calm their nerves.

A word from God is enough to bring light, courage, peace and joy to our hearts. Once upon a time, I spent a night alone in a house in the countryside. The house had a wall round it with a gate. There were fruit trees in the backyard. About 1 am in the morning, I heard a large thud that sounded like some heavy person had jumped into the yard. I was deeply frightened. I sat on the bed in cold sweat wondering what to do. "Look for a heavy object like metal or wood to defend myself." At that moment, I heard these words in my heart:
"If the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain do the sentries defend it."

The full Verse is this:
"Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain." (Psalm 127: 1).
This is one of my favorite verses in the Scriptures. The Lord used the same Scripture I repeat so often to bring me peace that dark night.

Jesus used the Scripture I know to identify Himself." "I AM here. Do not be afraid." I went back to sleep and did not turn till about 7 am. When I checked the backyard to see what happened, I saw that it was a large breadfruit that had fallen down.

Jesus says to us always:
"It is I. Do not be afraid!" God is in His word. Those who memorize their favorite Scriptures are on to something very important. You do not know when they will come handy.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Peter and John rejoiced to suffer abuse for the name of Jesus.

"After recalling the apostles [Peter and John], they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name." (Acts 5: 40 - 41).

Friday 16th April 2021, in the 2nd Week of Easter.

The first Reading in today's Liturgy from Acts 5: 34 - 42 is probably one of the strongest passages in post Easter catechesis.
Our key Scripture Acts 5: 40 - 41 shows Peter and John passing the test of discipleship with flying colors.  After they were flogged severely with 40 lashes, they rejoiced that "they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name." Jesus taught that the disciple rejoice for suffering persecution for His name and consider himself blessed for doing so. For Peter and John, the teaching of Jesus is no longer theory, they now possess a strong material for testimony. "We did it."

The second Scripture from the first Reading, you may call the Gamaliel Principle. Gamaliel was one of the most important Doctors of Sacred Scripture at this time. He was a teacher of St. Paul. He enunciated a principle, a word of wisdom to guide the Supreme Court of Israel on how to handle Peter and John. Options may be: Torture and kill them? Torture and long prison sentences with heavy labor? Below is the counsel of Gamaliel:

"So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” They were persuaded by him." (Acts 5: 38 - 39).

I have used the Gamaliel Principle for discerning God's will. It has often brought me wisdom and peace. About rejoicing in being made to suffer for the name of Jesus, I am beginning to appreciate this and with the help of the Holy Spirit will get it.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Obedience is better than sacrifice.

"But Peter and [John] the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5: 29).

Thursday 15th April 2021, in the 2nd Week of Easter.

We must obey God rather than men. A great Christian principle is laid down by the Apostle Peter. This Christian principle will lead many Christians to martyrdom including Peter and all the Apostles.

What is Obedience? Obedience comes from the Latin word "oboedire" which can be translated  as listening to the one speaking to you. We understand this when God complains through His prophets that His people do not listen to His voice. They refused to listen to Him. A child who does not listen to his parents will never obey them. The child does not want the parents to stop his planned course of behavior.

Those who did not listen to God and disobeyed Him include:
Adam and Eve, Saul, the first king of Israel, King Ahaz and a line of rebellious kings after him. God says that disobedience is a criminal offense:

"Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. ” (1 Samuel 15: 3). God rejected Saul the first king of Israel because of his disobedience.
"So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king."

Those who obeyed God:
We must mention first our Leader and Captain, Jesus Christ. He obeyed the Father unto death and set us an example as a faithful and true Witness [Martyr].

Obedience often results in severe persecution. Examples: John the Baptist, the Apostles, Pope St Martin I, St Thomas More, etc. The Roman Martyrology is the record of known martyrs. In its unupdated form, it is bursting with the names of women and men who gave their lives for Jesus. Most of them would not have been condemned if they had chosen to disobey Jesus and obey the worldly powers.

How can you prepare yourself to obey God? Remember the meaning of Obedience. Start with a willingness to listen to God. Commit yourself to listening to God in the Holy Scriptures every day. Through this exercise, the Holy Spirit will transform your mind. A transformed mind is able to discern the will of God in everything. (See Romans 12: 2).
Pray daily for grace to hear God and obey Him.

Ask God daily for the gift of His Awesome Spirit. We hear from Jesus in today's Gospel that the Father does not ration His Spirit. You receive the Holy Spirit in direct proportion to your desire and preparation for the Gift.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Yes Lord, I will share Your Gospel with my brothers and sisters.

"But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them [Peter and John] out, and said,  “Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.” (Acts 5: 19 - 20).

Wednesday 14th April 2021, in the 2nd Week in the Easter Season.

A note in the margin of the Daily Roman Missal for Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Easter reads: "Mission/Purpose Wednesday." Why? The Scriptures for this Wednesday are replete of Mission statements. Peter and John discovered in Acts 5: 19 - 20, that when God anoints you for a mission, no force on earth can stop you. Did not God promise:

"I have set in front of you an open door that no one can shut." (Revelation 3: 8 CEB).

In the Gospel of today, we are urged to proclaim the Good News to everyone, everywhere in the world:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." (John 3: 16).

Our response to the divine invitation to come forward and participate in the work of evangelization is proposed for us in the Entrance Antiphon:

"I will be a witness to You in the world O Lord.  I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers, Alleluia! " (Psalm 18:50;  22 :23 RM)

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Monday, April 12, 2021

Feast of Pope St Martin I, Intrepid Witness.

"Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony." (John 3: 11).

Tuesday 13th April 2021, in the 2nd Week of Easter is the feast of Pope St Martin 1. Italian. Pope and Martyr. St Martin suffered martyrdom because of his defense of the truth that Jesus Christ is 100% God and 100% Man. Emperor Constans II got him arrested and exiled him to Crimea where he suffered much abuse and humiliation. Martin wrote from prison: “For forty-seven days, I have not been given water to wash in. I am frozen through and wasting away…. But God sees all things and I trust in him.”

Our key Scripture for today could have been spoken by Pope St Martin I: "Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony." (John 3: 11). For the past 2000 years, saints and martyrs following the example of Jesus have been persecuted for speaking the truth they know. The adversaries have no answers to refute them. But like Pilate, Herod, Henry VIII, Hitler and Stalin they had brute force and they responded accordingly. The brutal persecution did not stop the Gospel from spreading.

"You, O Christ, are the faithful witness [Martyr], the First-born from the dead, you have loved us and have washed away our sins with your blood. (Cf Revelation 1: 5).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Now that you have been born anew, know your privileges.

"Jesus answered and said to him [Nicodemus], “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” (John 3: 3).

Monday 12th April 2021, in the 2nd Week of Easter.

Jesus was born, lived and died to establish the Kingdom of God.

Jesus answered Nicodemus in the AMP translation, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.”

The carnal man is incapable of experiencing spiritual things. He is acquainted only with material carnal things. (Cf Romans 8: 6; 1 Corinthians 2: 14). This is is what Jesus teaches Nicodemus. This is also a truth anyone can bear witness to by reflecting on his acquaintances.

Everything is created twice. The first creation is from the earth and unsurprisingly earthy. The second creation is from above and is heavenly. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the second birth. And this happens when we are baptized. We become born anew and in fact new creation.

Since we died with Christ when we were immersed into the water of Baptism and raised with Christ, let us seek what is above where Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. (Cf Colossians 3: 1).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Divine Mercy Sunday. Celebrate Mercy.

"Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”  (John 20: 21 - 23).

Today is the 2nd Sunday of Easter, DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY.

The universal Church celebrates today the Solemnity of Divine Mercy. (Always 2nd Sunday of Easter).  Jesus is the Face of Mercy of Abba Father.  Mercy is the name and essence of God the Father revealed to us through His Only Son, Jesus the Christ. The open Heart of Jesus is the symbol and seat of Mercy.  Mercy is promised to all.

To prepare ourselves to receive and retain Mercy, fmthe ABC OF MERCY is very useful.  It is called  ABC because, it is an acronym that can be remembered easily and secondly it is as simple as ABC.

A:  Ask for Mercy.
B:  Be Merciful.
C:  Completely Trust Jesus for Mercy.

God is rich in mercy and is waiting for us to turn to Him to blot out all our sins and receive us in His merciful love.

Mercy, mercy. Nothing but mercy!
"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by."  (Psalm 57: 1)

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. (The Diary 950).
To learn how to recite the Divine Mercy Rosary, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-to-recite-divine-mercy-rosary.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Friday, April 09, 2021

Everyone in the world has not heard the Good News. It is urgent they do.

"Jesus said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16: 15).

Easter Saturday 10th April in the Octave of Easter.

I like the way the AMPC translation renders the Great Commission, our key Scripture for today.

"And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]." (AMPC).

Preaching and publishing become synonymous in the verse. A lot of evangelization today is done through all types of publishing media: blogs, podcasts, videos and zoom apps, newspapers and magazines, radio and television. All are necessary to bring the Good News that has become urgent to everyone, everywhere in the world. Our task is not done until the whole human race has heard the amazing grace of Jesus Christ, the Good News.

Abba Father wills that everyone must come to the knowledge of truth and repentance. He equipped the Church for this mission by sending down the Awesome Holy Spirit to drive this mission. We see the power of the Holy Spirit in the powerful testimony of Peter and John before the entire Supreme Court of Israel in the first Reading:
"Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4: 19 - 20).

With the Holy Spirit, we have all we need to fulfill the Great Commission. May the Lord grant us success. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Come and have breakfast.

"Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.”  So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish." (John 21: 5 - 6).

Easter Friday 9th April in the Octave of the Solemnity of Easter.

Our Gospel of today (John 21: 1 - 14) is one of my favorite passages in the Gospel. It is one of the post Resurrection appearances of Jesus to His brothers. He seeks them out everywhere to be with them and encourage them. Why do I find this passage comforting?

#1. As an independent contractor salesman, I know what it means to toil the whole week and catch nothing. Isn't it comforting to know that Jesus knows the hideouts of all the fish? The fishermen obeyed the advice of the stranger on the shore and their disappointment was turned into joy and faith.

#2. “Come, have breakfast.” Jesus invited the Apostles and there was an unforgettable party there and then.

Can thunder strike twice in the same place? Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples through familiar words and actions. John was the first to make the connection of this miraculous catch of fish to the earlier incident.

How do you recognize the presence of God in situations in your daily life? God is constantly invading our spaces trying to catch our attention. Learn how to receive these impressions.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Shalom and Witnesses.

"You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24: 48).

Easter Thursday 8th April in the Octave of Easter.

Jesus said two weighty and important things to His disciples gathered in the Upper Room the very Sunday of the Resurrection:

#1. “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24: 36).
#2. "You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24: 48).

Peace is the dominant post Resurrection greeting of Jesus. Peace here means Shalom, the sum total of all graces and mercies flowing from the heart of God to men of good will who are now fully redeemed by the death and Resurrection of Jesus. No more recriminations or remembrance of denials and cowardly flight from the scene of the crime. All sins are washed away. Enjoy My Shalom!

At the end of His brief speech, the Risen Lord said: "You are witnesses of these things." "You" means we Christians singing the Easter Alleluia are His witnesses. We are to bear testimonies with our life and work to Jesus, to His Good News. As we bear testimony to the power of the name of Jesus with faith, miracles will happen as we hear in the first Reading Acts 3: 11 - 26.

"O chosen people, proclaim the mighty works of him,
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, alleluia." (1 Peter 2: 9).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Why did Jesus have to suffer before His Glorification?

"And Jesus said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24: 25 - 26).

Easter Wednesday 7th April 2021, in the Octave of Easter.

Our Lord and Teacher, Jesus Christ called the two disciples He met on road to Emmaus foolish and slow of heart. Why? Cleopas and his companion were foolish because they did not believe faithful and credible witnesses in Jerusalem that Jesus has risen from the dead. Although they were ignorant men as far as knowledge of Scripture, they trusted more in their judgment than their leaders. Are you one of those who believe you know more than your pastors and Bishops?

Jesus also called the two men "slow of heart" which means sluggish in mind and dull of perception. It is possible that their minds envisioned a worldly Messiah that will make them rich but were closed to any other possibilities.

The truth of the matter is that there is a divine necessity that Jesus must suffer before He enters into His glory. What is a divine necessity for Jesus is a divine necessity for Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, John the Baptist, You and me.
No cross, no crown. No trial, no triumph! It is a very hard lesson for many of us to learn. The sooner one embraces this great and inevitable truth of our faith, the more he enjoys the promises of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Monday, April 05, 2021

How Mary Magdalene became the "Apostle to the Apostles".

"Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her." (John 20: 18).

Tuesday 6th April, Easter Tuesday in the Octave of the Solemnity of Easter.

Jesus said to her [Mary Magdalene], “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” The Lord said to Mary again:
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."

Who is this woman, Mary Magdalene?

#1. Certainly not the wife of Jesus as alleged by the silly Da Vinci Code.
#2. Probably the woman of Mark 16: 9 who had 7 demons expelled from her. Once released from demonic oppression, Mary clung tightly to Jesus.
#3. Jesus and His disciples received no salary, stipends or gifts for their ministry. How did they survive? Mary of Magdala headed a group of women who supplied the needs of Jesus and the disciples from their resources.
#4. Mary Magdalene stood with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostle John under the Cross and witnessed the agony of the Crucified from the very beginning to the end.
#5. Jesus rewarded Mary to be the first eyewitness to see Jesus after His Resurrection. He commissioned Mary to take the great news to His brothers. Any wonder Mary is called the "apostle to the apostles."

What are the lessons from the profile of Mary Magdalene?
Mary has a heart that returns love for love. She never forgets a favor done to her. Mary Magdalene is one of my patron saints. I pray through her intercession for the grace to know the Heart of Jesus intimately, to love Him passionately and to follow Him everywhere.

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 04, 2021

My brothers and sisters will be My witnesses.

"Then Jesus said to them [Mary Magdalene and the other Mary], “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (Matthew 28: 10).

Monday 5th April 2021, Easter Monday in the Octave of Easter.

What does it mean for Jesus to call us brother /sister? Do you realize that Jesus entrusted the very life of Christianity to the testimony of men and women He called brothers and sisters? They are His brothers and sisters because He knows them very well. They are His witnesses because He considered them faithful, true and credible.

The brothers and sisters of Jesus are to testify to the world the knowledge and work of Jesus. As they witness to these truths, miracles happen because "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19: 10).

2000 years after the Resurrection, brothers and sisters continue to be added to the community of the saints. On Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Service, hundreds of thousands were baptized all over the world and millions renewed their Baptismal Vows. Don't forget these events. Keep them in mind through commitment to daily prayer and word of God and Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation as often as you can.

"The Lord has risen from the dead, as he said; let us all exult and rejoice, for he reigns for all eternity, alleluia." (Entrance Antiphon).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord.

"Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead." (John 20: 8 - 9).

Easter Sunday 2021, Sunday of the glorious Resurrection of the Lord.

When Peter and John entered the empty tomb, they saw what gave them a pause and serious matter for reflection. Jesus was not in the tomb. But the burial clothes were neatly arranged as if the person simply slipped through the clothes without disturbing them in any way. John observed this and concluded that there could be only one explanation: Jesus has risen from the dead.

This incident explains why Jesus forecast His passion and death and none of the disciples remembered this when the events were unfolding. "They did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead." (John 20: 9).

Have you observed anything that make you believe that Jesus is risen and alive?  For me, there are two incontrovertible reasons to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus:

#1. The existence of the Church.
#2. The self-sacrificing work of missionaries all over the world for 2000 years.

How about you?

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Friday, April 02, 2021

Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter.

“Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him." (Mark 16: 6).

Sunday 4th April 2021, Easter Sunday Vigil.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James became the first witnesses of the Resurrection and were commissioned to "go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you."

Jesus Christ our Passover has been sacrificed and has risen from the dead. He is Jesus, Emmanuel God with us. Come let us adore Him. Come let us receive Him in the Eucharist.

"The Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
To him be glory and power
for all the ages of eternity, alleluia, alleluia." (Luke 24: 34; Cf Revelation 1: 6).

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirst.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Good Friday 2021

“We do not have the right to execute anyone.” (John 18: 31).

Friday 2nd April 2021, Good Friday.

The Jewish leaders sees the death of Jesus on the Cross as the execution of a criminal.  “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”
How do you see the death of Jesus on the Cross?

"It is love "to the end" that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died." (CCC 616).

We adore You O Christ and worship You because of Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Good Friday 2021 is Also First Friday in April 2021. Honor too the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


April 2nd, 2021 First Friday in April.
Friday April 2nd 2021 is also the Good Friday of the Lord's Crucifixion and Death.

Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 4th month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #4.

#4.  "They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death."

The key word in this promise to me is DEATH.  Do you find the subject of death troubling?

I consider Promise #4 a great Promise.  St Augustine says:  "If you pray well, you live well. If you live well, you die well. If you die well, all is well."  To die well therefore is what every human being must desire.  Most of the post Ascension apparitions of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary to mystics promise succor at the time of the last struggle of death to those who honor them in the manner they specified.  The Church declared St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin, patron saint of a Happy Death.  I believe in the Resurrection of the dead and life everlasting. The thought of dying no longer scares me.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass.

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, click the link below:

http://seekfirst.blogspot.com/2020/08/12-promises-of-sacred-heart-of-jesus.html?m=1

Daily Bible Verse @ Seekfirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

This is the Example I give you: Serve one another.

"If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.  I have given you a model [example] to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." (John 13: 14 - 15).

Thursday 1st April 2021, Holy Thursday, Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Jesus gives us a new commandment this evening:  "Love one another as I have loved you." (John 13: 34). This new commandment is now enfleshed in an unforgettable Example. Consider for a moment the power of example, testimony and biography. The three which are synonymous are unparalleled way of teaching. It works for kids. It works for their parents.

Jesus the Lord and Teacher of the Apostles just washed the dirty feet of the astounded Apostles and then called it an example. After dodging this experience in Maundy Thursday services, I finally got the import when a Deacon washed my feet during a Holy Thursday service. Here is the impact it had on me: I now wash dirty dishes for others easily. I clean the bathroom. And a few other small things.
The washing of the feet of the Apostles was a profound act of humility on the part of Jesus. While I am still battling my pride and animosities, the example of washing my feet in full view of the packed Church on Holy Thursday is not an event I can forget easily.

Many Catholics say No firmly when they are asked to come forward to have their feet washed on Holy Thursday Liturgy. Can you imagine the grace you may be missing?

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

My appointed time has come.


“My appointed time draws near." (Matthew 26 :18).

Wednesday 31st March 2021, in Holy Week.

Towards the end of His life, Jesus reveals more and more the testimony of Sacred Scripture about the gathering storm of His passion and death. About Judas, he said, "The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed." (Matthew 26: 24). Jesus ministry is framed around "appointed time," "fullness of time." There may be a number of reasons why Jesus at this time wants to anchor His disciples on the testimony of Scripture about Him and His mission.

#1. His death would shatter whatever faith the disciples had in Him. It therefore became necessary that they learn that He is the Lord of history and knew everything that would happen in His passion.

#2. The disciples would see too that He entered His passion and death freely of His own accord. He was not trapped in Gethsemane and arrested as a helpless fugitive from justice.

Paul wrote that Christ died and rose from the dead according to the Scriptures, that is, according to the plan of God. As we approach the Easter Triduum, our faith in Jesus as both God who knows the past and as Man who manifested fear in Gethsemane of His suffering should grow.

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19: 10). Jesus testifies that Scripture is the word of God and worthy of our veneration and faith. What Scripture prophesies must come true. Scripture prophesies what Jesus did in His public ministry. When you share the testimonies of the miraculous in the work of Jesus, you create a condition for a new miracle. What Jesus has done once, He can replicate.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Monday, March 29, 2021

You are Peter. I am Peter. We are all Peter.

"Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”  (John 13: 38).

Tuesday 30th March 2021, in Holy Week.

Peter is to say three times before the cock crows that he does not even know Jesus.  

What is the lesson for us? Come to Jesus in your utter weakness. He knows you deeply. Forget your foolish pride and come to him broken, needy and miserable. This kind of state is what touches profoundly the merciful heart of Jesus.  Without Jesus what can we offer faced with the crushing challenges of life? Fear, worry, doubt, cowardice and weakness.

You are Peter. I am Peter. We are all Peter. Let us not be ashamed to follow Jesus in our weakness. He knows us intimately and He is happy with us that way.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Woman and a very expensive perfume.

"Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil." (John 12: 3).

Monday 29th March 2021, in Holy Week.

The Gospel for today shows Mary's extravagant devotion and love for Jesus. A very expensive perfume was broken and poured on the feet of Jesus. Then Mary squatting in front of Jesus started to wipe the feet of Jesus with her untied long hair. All this happened in full view of the guests who gazed in amazement.

There was a time I felt embarrassed to show public homage to Jesus. For example, genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament or making the sign of the Cross in a restaurant before meal. Do you ever feel this way? Or are you as strong as Mary in your devotion and commitment to Jesus?

Mary teaches us in today's Gospel that nothing is too costly for Jesus. Jesus accepted this homage.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

"Those preceding him [Jesus] as well as those following kept crying out:
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11: 9 - 10).

Sunday 28th March 2021, is the Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.

Notice the enthusiastic Hosanna. Hosanna sang by the jubilant crowd? Why did they sing? Why did they spread their clothes on the way that Jesus would pass.
First, they recognized Jesus as the Son of David and Heir to the promised throne of the Davidic dynasty. But unfortunately, they misunderstood the nature of the kingdom that Jesus came to found or how it would come about. Not by clash of steel but by crucifixion.

Why did Jesus accept the homage that He had previously refused? The time had come when the Jewish leaders must know that Jesus is indeed the Messiah and the King of the Jews. Riding on a colt into Jerusalem shows clearly that the nature of His kingship and kingdom will be radically different from that of Caesar.

As we enter the holiest week of the Year, consider walking along with Jesus the Way of the Cross through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. Saints and Popes have said that the Holy Rosary is probably the smartest way to know the mysteries of the Life of Jesus Christ. Here are the five Sorrowful Mysteries :
I. The Agony in the Garden.
II. The Scourging at the Pillar.
III. The Crowning with Thorns.
IV. The Carrying of the Cross.
V.  The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.

Have a grace-filled Holy Week.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Friday, March 26, 2021

He must die.

"He [Caiaphas] did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God." (John 11: 51 - 52).

Saturday 27th March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent.

The prophecy of the high priest Caiaphas that Jesus must die for the salvation of all mankind reminds us of the encounter of Jesus after His Resurrection with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus said that Scripture testifies that the Messiah would suffer and die and would rise again.

God permitted the compromised high priest Caiaphas to add his prophetic voice to the testimony of Scripture. As we prepare to enter the holiest week of the year, may we be nourished by the truth of Sacred Scripture. May our faith in the plan of God for our lives be strengthened. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Know who I am by my works and fruits of my life.

"If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize [and understand] that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10: 37 - 38).

Friday 26th March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent.

The enemies of Jesus were not just ignorant of the ways of God, they also suffer from unbelief. Unbelief may be the deadliest sin in the Bible. Unbelief could be described as seeing the sun shining and you maintain that it is total darkness. The Israelites saw the work of God in the Red Sea. They ate manna and drank fresh water in the desert and still refused to believe in God's goodness and power.

Jesus appealed to His work. The Jews should know the works of the Messiah from the Scriptures. Healing, casting out demons, feeding the masses, raising the dead, teaching and preaching should make someone of good will examine the claims of Jesus more deeply before rejecting Him. They refused to believe His works and paid  very costly consequences. No miracle. No participation in the fruits of salvation were available to the unbelieving group.

The Bible urges us to beware of the deadly sin of unbelief. Unbelief leads to the sin of rebellion like in Massah and Meribah. (Cf Ps 95).

When we look at Jesus as a faithful and credible witness, we cannot but note the quality of His life style. A tree is known by its fruits says Jesus. The fruits everybody can see from the life of Jesus are: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness and more. These are the very fruits by which a Christian can be recognized in the world.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

"Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name will be called Emmanuel." (Isaiah 7: 14).

Thursday 25th March 2021, in the 5th Week in Lent is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.

The first Annunciation of the Lord probably took place in about 730s BC in the prophecy of Isaiah announcing the momentous event. Nobody could have imagined in the intervening 700 plus years that the birth of the Emmanuel would mean the physical Incarnation of God amongst us.

What does it mean to you that God became a little baby, suckled by a woman, raised as any other little boy and trained by the foster father as apprentice carpenter? It boggles the imagination. Like Ahaz, the complacent king of Israel when Isaiah made the prophecy, you might sigh and say: "Please leave me alone."  Let us consider a few of the consequences of the truth that God becomes Emmanuel and Emmanuel is 100% God and 100% man.

#1. The curse of Adam was canceled.
#2. Salvation becomes the right and privilege of All people and not just one ethnic group or nation.
#3. The Church was founded and became a New Nation where All mankind is welcome.
#4. The Holy Spirit promised by prophets actually descended on the gathered Church and dwelt in men and women giving them the hope of salvation and empowering them to take the good news of salvation to all the nations.
#5. Jesus became truly Son of God and Son of Mary. Mary became after our Eternal High Priest and Intercessor-in-Chief Jesus, the most important intercessor for mankind.

And Mary said: Be it done to me according to Your Plan. And the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com